symbowl's kirkwood location photo by michelle volansky

SymBowl has closed its doors in Kirkwood permanently

Fast-casual restaurant SymBowl, known for its stir-fries and smoothies, announced this past Tuesday, Dec. 8, that it had closed the previous day. The restaurant was opened as HotPot Smoothie Shop in 2011 by co-owners Becky Schoenig and Gregory Owens. 

“SymBowl leaves behind its faithful parents, a handful of employees, and several local purveyors,” a Facebook message said. “SymBowl’s message of love, light, good vibes and good food created a following across the United States. Many times it was heard, ‘We wish there was a SymBowl in our city!’”  

Schoenig told Sauce the reason for closing was Covid-related. “I ended up in quarantine and we were short-staffed for that period of time,” she said, adding that another employee left to quarantine shortly after. “I saw the stress and the pressure the staff was under, and the account was pretty much down to nothing. If you can’t be open because you’re short-staffed, you can’t be open.”  

Schoenig said she and Owens are open to somebody buying the brand and space and continuing to run it. “We’d love to see it live on somehow,” she said. “We had customers that had been regulars since the beginning, who were in our restaurant daily or weekly. We weren’t a restaurant that was just, ‘Let’s go out for dinner.’ We were a community hub for people to gather and connect.”  

Though SymBowl is closed to the public, it will offer one final meal for first responders tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 12, and Schoenig said she encourages customers to contribute to their ongoing expenses as they shut down operations – SymBowl’s Venmo, Cash App and PayPal information is available here. Customers can also donate a meal to the frontline workers event through the website. 

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